Thursday, March 17, 2011

They do care

I always wondered if newspaper readers care about mistakes and amateurish writing, two things that solid copy editing can cure. Apparently they do.

According to a study by a professor, Fred Vultee, "real people" can tell when the writing is poor and full of errors. His findings were announced during a session at a conference held by the American Copy Editors Society (ACES; I'm a member).

“If you think something is sloppy or amateurish, there’s a good chance (readers) do, too,” said Fred Vultee, an assistant professor at Wayne State University, who spoke at a session during the society’s 15th national conference.

Speaking of copy editing, I think the above sentence/paragraph tries to offer too much information. I might have made a second sentence saying this, Vultee spoke at a session during the society's 15th national conference.

My wife Holly and I worked with Vultee at the Wilmington (N.C.) Star-News in the 1980s. Fred was a terrific copy editor, and apparently he's a pretty good professor, too.

Contact: I can be reached at or Also, my Twitter handle is EDITORatWORK.

(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)

More blog entries by Tom Gillispie

Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie

No comments:

Post a Comment